Election results are in from the Wisconsin Farmers Union’s 90th Annual Convention, which was held virtually Jan. 30-31. Convention delegates voted on policy priorities and candidates by mail-in ballot, with results tallied this week at the family farm organization’s state headquarters in Chippewa Falls.

The following 2021 Special Orders of Business, which will serve as priorities for WFU’s work throughout the coming months, passed with overwhelming support from delegates: Dairy policy reform, concentration in the agriculture industry, family farmers shaping climate change policy, meat processing infrastructure, and pandemic response and recovery.

Members passed 31 policy resolutions. Highlights included support of the following: diversity and equity in agriculture, greater transparency in livestock markets, overhaul of the Federal Milk Marketing Order system, development of local and regional fiber systems, increasing allowable THC content of hemp and creating a state hemp program, direct-to-consumer sale of poultry regardless of sales channel (i.e. farmer markets), transparency in allocation of federal farm payments, truth in food labeling, and measures to bolster the ethanol industry.

The full 2021 WFU policy book will be posted at www.wisconsinfarmersunion.com/policy.

Von Ruden retains presidency

Westby dairy farmer Darin Von Ruden has been re-elected as WFU president.

Von Ruden has high hopes for the year ahead, noting he is pleased to see agriculture being prioritized in the Governor’s biennial budget and pivotal rural issues garnering national attention.

“In the midst of a tense political climate and a global pandemic, the past year has challenged our family farms and rural communities in many ways,” Von Ruden said. “However, there are a lot of silver linings in the awareness it has raised for many of the deep-seated structural issues that are affecting our food supply chains and agriculture. WFU will continue to lead on these issues and organize for a better future for the generations to follow.”